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203342 tn?1328740807

Anti-depressants and teenagers

Hello. How do I know if I should try anti-depressants for my teenage daughter? I do worry a little because I've heard that since a teenager isn't done growing that it can affect them differently. I've heard it can actually make them more suicidal!
I'm asking because my teenage daughter has been struggling for awhile with depression. She had a particularly bad year last year and a lot of it had to do with her peers. We've switched schools and she seems happier and likes the new school and fresh start but told me last night that she still is depressed. I was surprised because I thought she was doing so much better. She's gone through so much. She was picked on a lot by her peers at her old school and took to cutting herself to deal with the pain. As soon as we found out, we immediately got her into counseling. We've been in counseling almost a year now and she's much, much better. Her counselor kept a close eye on her depression and gave her tests once in awhile but felt like her depression was situational. He isn't a pyschiatrist though so I don't know if we should also see a child psychiatrist. She's no longer cutting and she's been acting happier lately. She has a few friends on anti-depressants so I think she thinks it's a cure all. I told her that it's not a magic pill, that she still will have to learn to deal with stress better and find more positive ways to handle things like exercising, eating right and getting enough sleep.
How would the anti-depressants affect her if we try it? What would be some of the side effects we should expect?
I don't know if any of this could be signs of depression or normal teen stuff, but let me list the things I see:
1. she holds a lot inside. She seems to have trouble letting things out.
2. she will act happy one minute and moody the next.
3. her teachers tell me that she doesn't seem to focus in class or engage like they'd like to see.
4. she tends to slack off with her school work unless I really stay on top of her.
5. she has a temper and can hold grudges, but if you give her space and time to cool off, she usually apologizes.
6. she always acts better and calmer if I let her get a little exercise when she comes home from school, like ride her bike.
7. she has been eating more this last year and has gained about ten pounds. she used to do sports in her old school but because of her grades, they no longer allowed her to play, so she's not as active.
Like I said before, she's acting a lot better than she was several months ago. I feel like we've experienced the worst of it and that she's coming out of it all. That's why I've hesitated on trying the anti-depressants. I don't know what to do. Also as a side note, she's thought about joining the military after high school. If she did see a psychiatrist and got put on anti-depressants, would this ruin her chance of being able to join the military? I know she wants a clean, fresh start, and I really do want what's best for her. We've bent over backwards and made a lot of sacrifices for her this last year or so, but I love my daughter and will do whatever needs to be done to ensure she has the best life she can have.
9 Responses
212753 tn?1275076711
I dont think maybe antidepressants are the answer here.She sounds alot likewhat a teen goes thorugh.My daughters weremuch the sameat that age.
You might want to take her to evaluated and maybe try talk therapy first instead of meds I took my girls to counseling and that was a great help.Good luvk
Love Venora.
203342 tn?1328740807
Thanks. She is in counseling and has been for almost a year. In a lot of ways, she acts much better. She's not cutting anymore. But she still draws or prints out pictures that are very sad and/or dark and put's them in her room and tapes them on her binders. It's the pictures that really disturbs me. They're always girls sitting alone in the dark, crying, lonely, things like that. Now do you see why I'm still concerned? I wonder if I should show her pictures to a counselor and sees what he says. I did show her old pictures to our counselor and they were much worse. He was very disturbed by them too. She also has drawn a lot of hearts with thorns or knives in them or shows broken hearts. I will keep up with the counseling. I agree. It's important for her to be able to talk and here the advice the counselor gives. I was just wondering if that was enough.
203342 tn?1328740807
This week I had three of my daughter's teachers tell me they thought my daughter looked or acted sad in class. She also still has a temper and will erupt like she just did right now when my oldest son was teasing her.
If anyone can give me any information about anti-depressants and the pros and cons to teenagers taking them, I'd really appreciate it. I'm still debating whether to try it. We've been in counseling with her for some time and she is much better but still has some sadness/depression. Is there anything else that can help too? Like maybe certain foods, ect.? All thoughts on this are welcome! Thanks!
212753 tn?1275076711
Take her to a psychiatrist and get her evaluated and go form there .She may of maynot need meds but it was be best to get properly evaluated.I do know that some of the antidepressants do the opposite and feelings of suicide araise but that is just about all AI know about.Google  antidepressants.There is alot of good info and they list the side effects.
Good luck with your daughter and lety me know how it goes.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
I am 18 now, and was on antidepressants for a year after my mother's death.
I took 50mg of Zoloft, and never had any side effects or suicidal thoughts from the medicine. As long as she takes a small dose (probably from 25-75mg) then the chance of you daughter having extreme side effects, like suicidal thoughts, would be pretty rare. I know of teenagers who have experienced difficult side effects from antidepressants, but they were all taking large doses around 250-300mg and they stayed on the medicines for a very long period of time.
Antidepressants made me feel much better and gave me the desire to focus on my schoolwork once again. Now that I'm off of them, I still feel the same way as while I was on them. I don't know if they would work for you daughter, but there's a good chance they will.
Good Luck!
203342 tn?1328740807
Tonight I took my daughter down to the mental health clinic. She cut herself again. I'm about at my wits end. I thought we were through with this. It's been over a year. They didn't admit her because they didn't feel like she was a suicide threat, but they recommended some classes and possibly trying some meds. So I guess my question was answered. I will be checking into the classes, therapy and make an appointment with a child psychiatrist. This has been such a tough year. I really thought we were doing better. I'm so tired. I just want her to be ok.
212753 tn?1275076711
Honey i am so sorry you are having to go through this.I pray for you and your daughter.Hve you thought about showing her this forum.maybe she could express how she is feeling here untill you can get her to the psychiatrist.and maybe see about getting her a journal.and get you a journal so you can express what you are feeling too. we will be here for you both.Let me know how it goes.Prayers,healing energy and hugs are coming your way.
Love Venora
203342 tn?1328740807
She already kind of journals. She writes poetry and draws (actually she's quite talented. I just wish she'd draw better, more positve things.) Everything's so depressing, though. I even told her I'd get her some art lessons if she wanted and she said no, she just likes to draw anime (Japanese animation). Everything she draws though is like a girl alone in the dark, crying. She's also drawn stuff like hearts with thorns or knives sticking out, or broken hearts. All of this is just so hard for me to understand. She comes from a good, loving family. We are a Christian family. I try to remind her how much God loves her and she doesn't seem to believe or care, I'm not sure which. She's not abused or neglected. My oldest son is very well adjusted and doing fine. I don't know or understand what happened to her. I just want my little girl back. She used to be so happy and friendly as a little girl. This has just been a long, difficult year. God is good, though. He's been with us every step of the way, I know. He has kept her safe time and time again. I know He will get us through all of this. Thanks for caring.
1887354 tn?1320934601
Hello, Wondering how your daughter is doing now being that it's 2011 and you posted in 2007.  My name is April too :) I am going through a very familiar thing with my daughter. Our story's are very comparable starting with the bullying and switching school's not doing her school work.  It's been going on for almost 3 yrs now. She cuts,has the mood swings,happy one second mad the next,has anxiety,went through a stage when she said she didn't believe in god. ughhh.  Currently she is on an antidepressant celexa and I am going today to get her off from it..it's causing more suicidal thoughts.  I didn't want her on anything to begin with but the hospital pushed me into it.  If you can give me an insight on what might help I would appreciate it.  Yes we have done the counseling.  
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